Mothering on the Edge

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

When kids trim the tree

They hung the ornaments, and when they got to the bottom of the box and the styrofoam peanuts...they just kept going.

It's the last day of November and we've agreed that December will be a TV-free month. I'm so sick of the box that never sleeps. Maybe it will improve the preschoolers' behavior as well. They've really been on one lately. E (2) has developed the all-purpose response, "No, YOU!" and T (3) is in some kind of training program--Future Enforcers of America. Whenever I'm not around I can hear her yelling at her brother, "No! That's not allowed! Stop that! No, No!" And of course, her brother responding, "No, YOU!" Makes me think our family culture has gotten a little negative lately...

Merry end of November! May your halls be decked with styrofoam and love.

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 8:04 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Month before Christmas

'Twas a month before Christmas; Mom was calm and serene. She'd do Christmas right and she wouldn't be mean. She'd unpacked the ornaments, stockings and lights. This year her tree would soar to great heights.

Of elaborate gingerbread houses she thought -- but only homemade, not lesser, store bought. She'd hand make the wrapping paper, tie fancy bows, send cards of offspring in matching, clean clothes. And she wouldn't forget the true focus of the season: Jesus' birthday, the real Christmas reason.

'Twas two weeks before Christmas and mother was frantic. Her pesky to-do list was growing gigantic. Somehow her life interfered with her plans. To pull this all off, she'd need 70 hands.

She found a spare hour to fix up the tree. She'd slap on the lights and done it would be. When in the garage there arose such a clatter. She ran from the kitchen to see what was the matter. There were the lights and the twins, all entangled. She screamed and she moaned -- her nerves were all jangled.

'Twas a week before Christmas and her dreams fell apart. She bought a cheap gingerbread house at Kmart. She felt guilty for a moment and a little dejected. But then "At least I got a damn house," she reflected.

Then she gathered up presents and started to wrap. One kid held the tape and one sat on her lap. She didn't tie bows -- each present got a label. She polished the silver, then she set the table.

'Twas the day before Christmas and Mother was grumpy. Her rolls failed to rise and the gravy was lumpy. She got in her van and drove lickety-split to Publix and bought a huge box of Bisquick. When she came back, the twins were wrestling and fighting. The oldest was planning a late-night Santa sighting. They were up too late -- the kids were excited. Brimming with toy lust still unrequited.

Then it was Christmas. The kids came out of their lair. They sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and said a short prayer. Then they opened presents, ate breakfast, got dressed, and drove to the church, all looking their best. And Mom knew no one cared that the gravy'd been yucky. In fact, in reality all declared themselves lucky. The best part about Christmas -- their best Christmas ever -- was family and love and being together.

by Anne Glamore of Tales from My Tiny Kingdom

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 11:00 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, November 25, 2005

I am asleep!

What you are about to read is a real transcript of a conversation I just had with my six-year-old. It has not been altered or editorialized in any way.

Me: Go to sleep.
Her: I am asleep.
Me: No, you're not.
Her: How do you know?
Me: You answered me, for one thing.
Her: So?
Me: Go to sleep.
Her: I want a drink.
Me: No drinks. Go to sleep.
Her: I'm not tired.
Me: Yes, you are.
Her: How do you know?
Me: Because we're still talking.
Her: Oh, ok.

I'm going to sleep now. Wait, maybe I already am...

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 9:11 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Not so Frequently Asked Questions about Thanksgiving

This isn't the Jennie-O Turkey helpline. This is for all those questions they CAN'T answer.

Q: If April showers bring May flowers what do May flowers bring?
A: Pilgrims!

Q: What can be included in a relish tray?
A: Approximately anything. So far we have:
  • broccoli
  • green beans (shh, I thought they were sugar peas when I bought them)
  • baby carrots
  • cucumber slices
  • radishes
  • bell peppers
  • olives
  • onion dip
  • bread and spinach dip
  • cheese ball and crackers (4 kinds, obviously)
  • apples and caramel dip (you don't think kids are going to touch dip with spinach or onions in it do you?)
Q: What is a "cheese ball"? How does one make such a festive object?
A: "Cheese ball" is the technical name for those funny lumps of Cheez whiz-looking stuff covered in nuts, seeds or what-have-you that are often served with crackers and apples at holiday get-togethers. Most people simply buy them from the deli. But not this crazy holiday momma!~

Cheese balls are surprisingly easy to make. Ok, maybe not so surprising. But they are, and fun if you like getting messy in the kitchen. Here are two recipes from our friend Martha:
Chutney Cheese Ball
Cheddar Cheese Ball

Basically, you take some soft cheese, like cream cheese, and mix it with shredded other cheese (feta, cheddar, jack, etc.) and other savory things (mango chutney, onions, etc.) and make it all into a mushy ball. Then you roll it in something interesting--nuts are popular, but seeds, more cheese--you can go crazy with it. Then you refrigerate it and eat it on crackers. It's lots of fun.

Q: How long does mango chutney take to go south in the fridge?
A: Less than one year, apparently. Maybe I should find another use for chutney besides holiday cheese balls.

Q: Spinach Dip? What's that?
A: Spinach Dip Recipe

Q: Can you use another kind of bread besides pumpernickel?
A: Ya, use whatever you want--just as long as you can hollow it out and fill it with dip.

Q: How do goldfish celebrate Thanksgiving?
A: Their owners get to search through the can of goldfish flakes looking for one that is appropriately feast-sized and shaped like a turkey.

Q: What is a jello dream?
A: A fruity, multi-layered dessert. Surprisingly, it is the most difficult item I'm making this year, mostly because of the jello layering. Weep for me.

Q: Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
A: The outside

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 2:07 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

the holidays are upon us

Halloween costumes: an M&M, a fairy and a renaissance princess. Husband dressed up as a samurai and I got to wear the orange "This is my costume" T-shirt. Ya, they're pretty cute, aren't they. By the way, I'm establishing a new standard: when a kid shows up on my doorstep talking on his own cell phone, he's too old to be trick-or-treating.

We also got family portraits taken this week--no portrait studios (I'm still recovering from "the incident" nearly 2 years ago). My brother-in-law takes pictures, and good ones, so we took him and our heathens out to City Creek canyon and took a couple cards' worth. We move around a lot, so it's hard to take pictures of us. We got some real good ones, I think.

No mall photographers were harmed in the making of these pictures:

The last one of my husband and I-great picture. Man, I love him. He's just great. Our anniversary is next week. Eight years. Hard to believe.

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 8:20 AM :: 2 Comments:

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